Fall is here! The air is crisp, leaves are changing, and pumpkin and spice has taken over everything edible! This change in season also signals a fresh start for our small group leaders.
As leaders, you are charged with a large responsibility - you are shepherding a group of believers and encouraging them to grow in their relationship with the Lord. So many times, though, it is easier to admire Jesus together than to follow him. Let me explain.
Charles Blondin is famous for having walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls. This would have been an incredible feat in and of itself, but he did it multiple times, each time more daring than the last; he even made an omelet while crossing the Falls! But when he asked people to join him by getting in the wheelbarrow he would push across the rope, the crowd fell silent. It was fun to admire his actions from afar, but when invited to join, he found out how many actually believed in him enough to put their life in his hands.
As you shepherd your small group and examine the life of Jesus together, it is easy to talk about how amazing the miracles he performed were, and how he exuded love, joy, peace, etc. But are you challenging your group members to step into Jesus' "wheelbarrow"? Are you modeling the steps of obedience he has called you to as you do life with your group members? When we read about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, we should be compelled to follow after him without abandon, not simply reflect and discuss without action. His life wasn't lived to gain admirers, but rather followers. He asks us to step out in obedience and follow after him even when the journey seems treacherous.
Let me take a second to encourage you - you stepped out in obedience by accepting the role of Small Group Leader! You are discipling a group of people to pursue Jesus; there is no sweeter gift or sacrifice than to walk alongside brothers and sisters in Christ, edifying and spurring one another on towards deeper intimacy with Jesus.
This fall, I challenge you and your group members to get in your wheelbarrows and passionately pursue Jesus together! Don't be satisfied with good conversation lacking action - insist on obedience and follow-through that evokes life change for all involved.
Adult Life Ministry Coordinator, Wexford Campus